No Trainee Psychologists hired despite €38 million HSE investment

HSE Clondalkin Tallaght

Mark Ward TD has called for a full review into the recruitment process of newly-qualified clinical psychologists. In response to Parliamentary Questions submitted by Teachta Ward, over the last 5 years, the HSE has spent over €38 million on salaries and fees for trainee Clinical Psychologists but due to difficulties with the approval process, the HSE has not been in a position to offer employment to any newly-qualified clinical psychologists in the same time frame.

Teachta Ward said “The HSE have invested over €38 million in the last 5 years on fees and salaries for Trainee Clinical Psychologists. “In the same period the HSE did not directly recruit one newly qualified Clinical Psychologists. “Ireland is experiencing unprecedented demand for psychological support in Primary Care with 10,500 children waiting for an appointment in addition to the 4000 children waiting for an appointment with CAMHS.

“28% posts unfilled Children’s Disability Network Teams remain unfilled. “The HSE Report of the National Psychology Project Team estimated a need for an additional 322 psychologists in mental health services alone. The 2021 Government Disability Capacity Review to 2032 stated that the number of psychologists in disability services needs to double by 2032. “The fact that the HSE have invested so much and have failed to recruit a single newly qualified Clinical Psychologist is an absolute scandal “There is a recruitment and retention crisis of healthcare workers right across the HSE.

“This situation is unacceptable. There is obviously a problem in the HSE’s recruitment panel system. “A graduate doctor of clinical psychology, having worked three years with the HSE, must join this panel system to be employed in the HSE. “The panel system does not allow direct entry into the HSE and does not take into consideration geographical preferences. “The HSE must review their recruitment system and to make sure its fit for purpose.

“There is a crisis in the recruitment and retention of staff within the HSE and their own recruitment process is working against them tackling this crisis. 

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Sarah Brooks

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